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Zotac Premium Edition SSD Review

Armed with Phison's new v.1.6 firmware for the S10 processor and low-cost flash, Zotac takes aim at the mainstream and gamer SSD markets.

A Closer Look

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Zotac chose black on black with more black for the Premium Edition packaging. There's not a lot of information on the box, aside from some generic sequential performance specifications and a mention of the three-year warranty.

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The Premium Edition SSDs use a 7mm-tall, 2.5-inch enclosure that fits in newer notebooks requiring the low-profile design. The case is made from a thin, stamped metal, so it doesn't perform well as a heat sink. We've yet to push an S10-controlled drive to its throttle point though, so this shouldn't be a concern.

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If you follow our storage coverage, then you've already seen this PCB on a few occasions. Phison makes most, if not all of the drives that are turned over to partners, which then become retail products. That's why nearly all of the S10-based drives are identical. There are, however, a few different PCB revisions to accommodate various types of flash. Zotac's Premium Edition SSDs use NAND packaged from wafers outside of Toshiba (we were told the Premium Edition uses Toshiba 19nm dies; companies buy the flash at the wafer level, then bin and sort for different products).

  • JQB45
    At that price its a great value. If only it had a 5 year warranty...
    Reply
  • Onus
    If I needed another SSD, I'd definitely put this one on my short list. I have a question though, that pertains more to testing in general than to this specific drive, but it certainly applies: will two identical SSDs (including same firmware, e.g. two units bought off the shelf at the same time) have identical performance? We know that the "silicon lottery" affects timing and overclocking limits on RAM; does it also play a role in SSD performance? I would think not, but if so, would love to know why, and how much. Thanks.
    Reply
  • jtown82
    I am curious on the endurance specs of this SSD.
    Reply
  • icepick314
    I don't know...

    Samsung Evo Pro 1TB with 10 year warranty is around $400-$450...

    I say splurge a little and get the capacity, performance, and 10 years of worry-free storage...
    Reply
  • salgado18
    I don't know...

    Samsung Evo Pro 1TB with 10 year warranty is around $400-$450...

    I say splurge a little and get the capacity, performance, and 10 years of worry-free storage...
    I say if you want a drive for 10 years, wait for the new tech to arrive this year, a lot faster (over 3x) and with new connections (SATA is old already).
    Reply
  • LordConrad
    Just out of curiosity, how do these drives compare to the Samsung 850 Pro on notebook battery life?
    Reply
  • Onus
    Yes, please add power consumption. The Samsung drives are remarkable in how little idle power they use compared to competitors (I believe it is typically 30%).
    Reply
  • g-unit1111
    17403001 said:
    Just out of curiosity, how do these drives compare to the Samsung 850 Pro on notebook battery life?

    Yes. I would be curious about this as well. This looks like a fairly nice drive and $140 for 480GB and Toshiba NAND looks pretty solid and a decent competitor to Samsung.
    Reply
  • shrapnel_indie
    Well, I wonder how TH would rank Toshiba's Q300 offerings against this and Samsung... from what I seen elsewhere their Q300 series puts up quite a fight with Samsung.
    Reply
  • CRamseyer
    Thanks for all of the excellent questions.

    We tested the Q300 Pro (MLC version) and the review is in queue. We do not have the Q300 drive with TLC.

    On the notebook battery life front, we measured the 850 Pro 512GB at 657 minutes. There are so many good drives available now and such a wide divide between the high performance and low cost models that we charts the drives separate.

    There are size limits to for the performance charts. At some point I plan to list a couple of hundred drives in massive charts so everyone can see how they all stack up.

    The 850 Pro is the only model from Samsung with a 10 year warranty. The 850 EVO carries a 5-year warranty. The SanDisk Extreme PRO also carries 10 years of coverage.

    Reply